A cherry tree blossoms on Belleville Street across from the provincial legislature building.

A cherry tree blossoms on Belleville Street across from the provincial legislature building.

Searching the hot spots for flowers

With the Victoria Flower Count coming up on March 5-11, locals are searching out the best places to find flowers.

Many streets are lined with cherry blossom trees, and bright yellow daffodils are popping up all over. Millions of blooms are counted every March in Victoria as part of the region’s Flower Count.

While they are not hard to find, there are a few spots that are especially good for spotting blooms.

“There are lots of daffodils, crocuses, snow drops and flowering shrubs around,” said Jack MacAulay, past president of the Victoria Chrysanthemum Society. “If you go downtown Victoria, a lot of streets are lined with flowering trees that are all in bloom right now with hundreds or thousands of blooms on them.”

Flowers can also be found downtown in the courtyard garden at the Empress Hotel and also in front of the Parliament building.

One of the biggest places to find blooms in Victoria is Beacon Hill Park, which is currently full of many different varieties of flowering trees, shrubs and flowers. Beacon Hill Park contains not only manicured flower beds, but also areas of natural wildflowers on the slopes of the park.

In Fairfield, MacAulay advises going to the Abkhazi Garden, 1964 Fairfield Rd., which is a 1.4 acre site full of rhododendrons, heather and more.

Across the bridge in Esquimalt, there are a number of gardens full of blossoming flowers.

“We’re so fortunate to have so many parks here in Esquimalt,” said Sharon McKie, president of the Esquimalt Garden Club.

Her favourite place to go to walk and spot flowers is Saxe Point Park, looking across to Port Angeles.

“It’s a beautiful spot,” said McKie.

Another popular park in Esquimalt is Gorge Park, where cherry blossom trees and rhododendron bushes can be found blooming. On one side of Gorge Park is the Japanese Garden. McKie said the location of the Japanese Garden gives people the best of both worlds in terms of plants they will see.

For a more natural look, McKie advises going to Highrock Park in Esquimalt. Highrock Park contains many native plants and flowers.

“It is definitely a nice time to walk through and meander,” said McKie.

The Victoria Flower Count runs from March 5 to 11. For more information, please go online to flowercount.com.